Roger Jepsen, former senator and NCUA chairman, dies at 91

Roger Jepsen, a former Senator and chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, died on Friday. He was 91.

Jepsen, a Republican, represented Iowa in the Senate from 1979 to 1985. After losing his reelection bid to Democrat Tom Harkin, Jepsen was appointed to the NCUA board and named chairman by President Ronald Regan.

During his time at the agency, Jepsen oversaw NCUA’s adoption of the CAMEL rating system still in use today, a substantial increase in the number of credit unions utilizing federal share insurance and a period of substantial growth, topping out at nearly 12,900 credit unions totaling $223 billion in assets and serving 61 million members by the end of 1990.

During Jepsen’s tenure, NCUA was sued by the American Bankers Association and several North Carolina-based banks over a field-of-membership expansion for AT&T Family Federal Credit Union that would have allowed the credit union to serve small SEG groups unrelated to AT&T. That suit continued until February 1998, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of banks. Within two months, the House had passed the Credit Union Membership Access Act, which permitted multiple common bonds in federally chartered credit unions fields of membership. The Senate passed the bill in July and in August it was signed into law by President Clinton.

Jepsen left the agency in 1993 and was succeeded as chairman by Norman D’Amours, who led the regulator until 2000.

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